For Dialogue Editors, Absentia DX Replaces Repetitive Labor with Machine Learning

By in Audio Post, Pro Mixing

The Dialogue Editor did not want to come back for season two, twenty-two more episodes. Between himself and the Supervisor they had spent an estimated 33 days removing Hums, and still there were plenty of Hums left for the Re-Recording Mixer to notch. The production would not correct the onset problem and losing a great Dialogue Editor was and is never an option, so Absentia DX was born.

Our initial goal was to increase our productivity by eliminating Hums without comb filtering, a very common side effect. This was done by machine learning the hum frequencies and then notching them. After we had a working model, we had to decide whether to make this our secret weapon as a Sound Editorial company or share it. That decision took less than a minute, helping the post sound community was and is far more altruistic.

Absentia DX is now two years old and has twice been nominated by the Cinema Audio Society for Outstanding Product – Post Production at both the 54th and 55th Annual CAS Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing.

To celebrate and thank the Cinema Audio Society and our wonderful friends at Avid, Absentia DX will be priced at 50% off until April 30, 2019. toddao.com/avid-promo

Thanks to our product focus and lack of marketing, there is a pretty good chance you know very little or nothing at all about Absentia DX. It was designed by a person (with contributions from his colleagues) that has prepared and supervised dialogue for three hundred plus episodes of television. After the first couple hundred episodes the repetitive manual labor involved in noise reduction becomes readily apparent.

ABDX, as we affectionately call it, was designed to automatically remove obvious defects (hums and ticks) and not harm dialogue. There is zero intent for ABDX to be creative.

Paul Hammond (Dialogue Editor) “Finding fill and matching angles is much easier since room tones are more consistent from take to take, minute to minute. EMI strong will get out musical room noise extremely well. Doppler (Remover) has saved several delicate lines by assisting in the removal of planes and cars.”

Absentia DX saves a couple of hours (or more) of Hum and Tick Removal, whether in the cutting room or on the mix stage. For Editors it smooths out background tones, so angles cut together more easily. Re-Recording mixers notch far fewer tones. Everyone de-ticks fewer snaps and ticks, note that ABDX deticks away from dialogue only.

Tucker Marolf (Picture Editor) “What I love about Absentia DX is how simple and quick it is to isolate dialogue that would otherwise be inaudible or disruptive in a cut and get it to where the dialogue is at the very least, clearer, and in best cases almost completely clean!  It really helps the editorial process to not have to bump on sound during scenes on noisy locations.”

We work year-round to add new features to ABDX. We developed new technology to remove servo motor whirrs and whines from actors’ mechanized costumes, try both Hum Remover EMI (electromagnetic interference) or Intermittent Remover EMI. Doppler Remover does a pretty good job of tracking doppler planes or cars and reducing them. Phase Synchronizer is our latest addition, it will phase iso tracks to a master boom track. Incorporating it into the AAX is taking place now.

Kirby Jinnah (Sound Editor / Mixer) “It is a fast go-to fixer to achieve results that other plug-ins I use can’t accomplish. Simply say bye-bye to those annoying fridge hums in seconds. The broadband noise reduction capabilities are surprisingly capable without touching the human voice.”

Nominated two years in a row by the Cinema Audio Society, it’s a proud achievement for the ABDX team. Our goal is to help people, and the appreciative emails and comments from our peers has provided motivation for us to continue to innovate on their behalf.

Larry Benjamin (Re-Recording Mixer) “Absentia DX simply is the best solution for removal of hums and buzzes.  It does the least amount of damage to the original production sound and can be used as a batch processor or hitting only the dialogue lines needed in AudioSuite.  It’s far more effective than traditional notch filtering or other destructive means of attempting to remove the dozens of frequencies and harmonics involved with this type of noise.”

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